Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians didn’t consider a 9-0 loss and missed chance at a division title as the most painful parts of Sunday’s Week 15 defeat.
“It hurts more losing all the players we lost,” Arians told the media on Sunday, December 19, after a stunning shutout loss to the New Orleans Saints. “We lost about seven starters in this game, so I’m more concerned about that right now.”
Wide receiver Mike Evans injured his hamstring, and fellow wideout Chris Godwin injured his knee during the first half against New Orleans. Running back Leonard Fournette then injured his hamstring in the third quarter. All three got ruled out for the game after their respective injuries.
The Bucs then lost linebacker Lavonte David in the fourth quarter. Tampa Bay also came into the game with Antoine Winfield Jr. and Richard Sherman all out after being listed as questionable or doubtful on the injury report.
Arians also said he doesn’t know the severity of the injuries that occurred during the game.
“Two or three hamstrings. It’s obviously Chris’ knee. Lavonte’s foot. Leonard’s a hamstring. So we’ll wait and see,” Arians said.
Brady and the Bucs never got going offensively amid the injuries and a ferocious Saints pass rush. He threw for 214 yards, and the Bucs rushed for 118 yards.
“Yeah, it was big. Obviously, the young guys, I was hoping they would step up a little bit more,” Arians said. “Overall, we just dropped too many balls, too. I mean, when we did have some guys open. They played that hard man to man, and we did not do a good job at getting open.”
Younger players will likely need to step up for the Bucs going forward.
“Whoever’s up, gotta go play a little better. Doesn’t matter who’s available. We gotta get ready to go get Carolina,” Arians said.
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Godwin’s Injury Not ‘Major’
Godwin “did not suffer a major injury” according to a source via NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
“He’ll have tests tomorrow, but based on the early diagnosis, Godwin sprained his MCL,” Rapoport wrote. “That means he’ll miss time, with an MRI to determine when he’s back.”
Godwin left the game after he got hit in the leg during a 5-yard reception early in the second quarter. It could have been worse as Godwin’s landing on his head looked disturbing, ESPN’s Jenna Laine noted.
“Several teammates were kneeling around him as he was being looked at by trainers,” Laine wrote. “Miraculously, he is walking off the field. How? I don’t know.”
Fournette Injured Hamstring Before
Fournette got sandwiched on a running play in the third quarter when he injured his hamstring on Sunday. He previously injured his right hamstring in 2018 twice.
“Ruled out immediately is concerning especially in a close game, but hamstring easily reinjure if player returns too quickly,” Dr. Jesse Morse of the Fantasy Doctors wrote.
Morse added that the nature of Fournette’s injury will likely keep him out against Carolina on December 26.
Fournette finished with 34 yards rushing on nine carries and 33 yards receiving on seven catches.